There are two things that all of us should dread about this game:
1. Cee Lo Green’s horrible song intro, yes it’s worse than Faith Hill’s
2. Although the apparent rumors are true, the replacement refs will still be a big part of this game. (author note: I’m an idiot, Refs will be back tomorrow…they still fucking suck)
With those out of the way here are the people you should sit and start:
Brandon Weeden: Yeah, this is kind of a surprise but if you’re in a two QB league or have Michael Vick this may be a good option. Brandon has been shaky and that’s generous, but he has racked up some good chunks of yards and with Baltimore on the short week he may be able to exploit holes that the Patriots did. Mohamed Massaquoi is out so it does hurt him but he does have two good options, Greg Little and Trent Richardson out of the backfield. 275, 2 TDs, 1 int.
Joe Flacco: Let’s be honest, you could have Michael Vick and do wel..oh wait…Flacco is showing his muscle this year and is letting his ability of checking down on receivers show. He exploited a much improved Patriots defense and his O-Line is giving him tons of time in the pocket. Joe will be throwing a lot and with Smith coming off the game he did and Rice getting more targets I see back to back 300+ yard passing games. 315, 3 TDs, 0 Int.
Trent Richardson: This guy is a beast and is a pure North/South runner who doesn’t mind contact. The boys in the box will be tired and he will have a great 2nd half of the game with targets coming his way from Weeden. 1 TD, 75 rushing, 7 receptions for 40 yards. PPR leagues is a must start.
Ray Rice: It’s looking like this will be a high power offensive attack keeping the score keepers working hard, and it will. Look for Rice’s ability to gain yards after contact to come into play and him making a splash in the Red Zone against a sloppy Browns defense. 115 yards, 2 TDs/1 receiving, 5 receptions for 30 yards.
Greg Little: With Massaqoui out expect Little to get the majority of the targets. Little has a lot of talent and will have the ability to go over the top and help Weeden out a ton in this one. Working a tired secondary will be in his favor so expect a big game. 100 Yards, 1 TD.
Dennis Pitta: It’s always fun to get good points from a tight end and I believe Pitta could be your guy, if you don’t have Gronkowski or Graham. Pitta put up great numbers and showed his athleticism and toughness Sunday night. He will get some targets and I think he will score a touchdown with Boldin and Smith being smothered the whole game. 75 Yards, 1 TD.
Baltimore Defense: They are arguably one of the top 3 defenses in the NFL but the short week in an extremely tight game just 3 days ago I think they may fall short. If you are watching the game you will be disappointed you started them seeing a ton of missed sacks and loose coverage down the field giving Weeden short options and giving them points.
Chris Obonnaya: He’s the #2 receiver on the team, in terms of yards, and will garner a lot of attention. I said this earlier that Little will have a big game leaving Obonnaya only a few opportunities to show. He will get some catches but they will only be worth bragging about if he’s a #3 WR option.
Anquan Boldin/Torrey Smith: These guys are quality receivers and that’s why they will be getting ALL the attention of the Browns’ defense. Smith will be coming off a great week and Boldin will be getting slammed in the quick routes he’s used to running. Browns will be playing the run and that hurts Boldin, Smith will be getting double teamed.
Cleveland Defense: Just kidding, if you have their D you should probably log off your fantasy team and just never check it again. Coincidentally you will probably end up winning your league.
These are my sit/start picks for one game, you should probably listen to me, I do have 3 2nd place finishes under my belt.